We’ve been homeowners in the North Conway area for almost 30 years. We’ve made every effort to support our local business’ in these extremely competitive and difficult times. Lots of restaurants around so we try to distribute our business, yeah I know we’re not going to make a huge difference but local loyalty is important to us and presumably every little bit will help the locals stay in business if not thrive.
We ate at the Wildcat Tavern on the evening of Tuesday, August 20th. I checked out the other Trip Advisor reviews that afternoon since we haven’t visited the Wildcat Tavern in over a year.
According to Trip Advisor, at that time, there’re 17 restaurants in Jackson 3 of which had no reviews so for comparison purposes that takes us down to 14. To the best of my knowledge 4 of those serve only breakfast or deli type lunches...revised total is 10. So if my math is correct Trip Advisor reviews suggest The Wildcat Tavern is the second worst restaurant in Jackson. Huh? The Wildcat Tavern is a Jackson icon...how can this be? Read on.
I couldn’t believe my conclusion so undeterred my wife and I made a 6:30PM dinner reservation. We arrived at 6:20PM and promptly seated by a very friendly hostess at a great table in a very bucolic New Hampshire dining room. So far so good...but it wasn’t to be. 20 minutes after we were seated the hostess stopped by...”Has your server been by”. I’m still not sure why we stayed, it got worse from there. Short version is our waiter, excuse me “server” lacked basic server knowledge, was ambivalent, non responsive and borderline invisible. I don’t think it was his fault, my take is it’s management’s fault for poor or nonexistent training. Won’t bore you here...if you want the details they’re at the end of this epistle. Good news is the chicken marsala was decent...albeit difficult to eat since the server cleared my silverware. I guess I should be grateful it only took 5 minutes to bring another set of utensils. Dinner was probably too hot anyway.
Finally the ordeal was over. In the interest of providing some “helpful” feedback I stopped by the host desk on the way out and politely (my wife will vouch for me) commented we had a great dinner but I’d like to provide some feedback on our server. I was very proud of myself in avoiding “painful” as a description. Without looking up his response was “I’m only here four nights a week”. He went on to say “the waiters are young and familiar with serving lobster dinners but not good with anything else”. In addition “as you can see” we’re very busy”. I politely asked him if there was anyone on site who would be interested in my feedback. “No but I’ll pass it on”. Said another way there’s nobody around who cares. Hmmm...only the second worst restaurant in Jackson. Seems to me they should be at the top, or bottom as it is, of the list.
So...after you read this, and the other reviews on TripAdvisor and other sites, and decide to take the plunge I sincerely hope you have a good experience at the Wildcat Tavern. If not please don’t take this as example of our Northern Hospitality...it isn’t!
By the way, this review is for the restaurant not the bar. After a couple of pops at the bar service probably doesn’t matter anyway,
Creative way of serving the “two” small dinner rolls. To his credit the “two” rolls were served in a very classy metal basket lined with a napkin which covered the rolls. Imagine my wife’s surprise when she moved the napkin, reached in for one of the “two” rolls and came up with a handful of butter. I thought it was hysterical. My wife...not so much. Why the butter was hidden by a napkin on top of the rolls is beyond me.
Asked for water. Server brought one glass. Probably forgot, or wanted to forget there were two of us at the table.
Ordered a large salad, indicated we would be sharing it, server brought bowl of salad with no plates. We asked for plates so we could share the salad as we mentioned. Brought 1 plate. Hmmm...how long do you think we waited for the 2nd plate.
Dessert he “believed” 4 of the desserts were unavailable, when we finally decided on ice cream the flavor he brought was not the one we ordered.
Bon appetite and good luck!
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